Cumbrian Road ‘Scientifically’ Shown as UK’s Best
So you think you know the perfect driving road? Car hire firm Avis has come up with a scientific formula to calculate whether you’re right. And it’s the A591 from Kendal to Keswick in Cumbria that tops the charts in the UK, with the N-222 from Peso de Réguna to Pinhão in Portugal rated as the world’s finest.
Working with quantum physicist Dr Mark Hadley, Avis calculated that the ideal ratio for a great driving road was 10 seconds spent on a straight for every one second spent in a corner. This, the firm says, allows a driver to make best use of a car’s acceleration, brakes and handling for the most satisfying session behind the wheel.
Applying this ‘Avis Driving Ratio’ (ADR) to scenic roads all over the world led the team, which included legendary Formula One track designer Hermann Tilke and renowned roller coaster designer John Wardley, to establish the scenic A591 as the UK’s best road with a ratio of 14:3.
However, as any Cumbrian will explain, in the summer months it is usually blocked by slow-moving traffic caught behind caravans – a factor not considered in the ADR maths.
Second on the list of best British roads is the B3515 from Cheddar to Ashwick; a fabulously twisty ribbon of tarmac through Cheddar Gorge that straightens out and provides chances to overtake the throngs of tourists.
Third is the A535 from Holmes Chapel to Alderley Edge in Cheshire, although this is often crowded with trucks.
“There are four key phases of a drive,” said Dr Hadley, who led the research. “Bends, acceleration, cruising and braking. “A great driving road strikes just the right balance between the phases so you get the exhilaration of speed and acceleration whilst corners test your driving capabilities and long stretches allow you to enjoy the scenery.
Mark Servodidio, Managing Director of Avis UK added: “This creates a thrilling and varied driving experience that tests the driver’s capabilities and provides opportunities to experience the performance of the car, whilst also giving the driver time to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views.”